Production of salt is mainly done by solar evaporation of seawater or inland brines (solar salt) and by mining rock salt deposits (rock salt called Halite). Annual production is exceeds 250 million metric tons and is increasing, due to the growing demand from the Chinese chemical industry. Since salt’s value increases with purity, industrial production is focussed on making the purest sodium chloride possible.
Analysis of traces elements is then essential for salt production and it has to be done on brines to allow the determination of low concentrations. It is also a major issue for the use of brines in the food industry to ensure that no heavy metals are present and for the chemical production to avoid any contamination in production of chemicals that may result in lethal consequences. For example, excessive magnesium content in the salt brine of electrolytic cells will cause hydrogen evolution on the anode and hydrogen mixed with chlorine form an explosive mixture causing damage to the equipment and release of chlorine that is very toxic and dangerous to the environment.
This application note will describe the analysis of brines using the Ultima Expert ICP-OES, that is ideal for brine analysis as it does not require dilution of the samples and it allows the analysis of many elements with low detection limits.
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